Expert unveils exact date volatile snow system may batter Britain

There will be an unsettled build up to Christmas Day this week, with temperatures dramatically dipping just 24 hours before. Hopes have been building in recent weeks that snow may make a festive appearance.

GFS map runs have so far indicated on the surface that the mercury, for all of the nation, is likely to slump after a generally mild week, if unsettled, before the Christmas period.

The latest models now suggest a Polar blast could arrive from around midnight on Friday, December 22, with Scotland’s thermometers forced down to freezing. The south east, however, will remain milder with highs of 7C.

Then, late on Christmas Eve, temperatures will fall even further, with up to -7C hitting urban parts of Scotland – and 1C for central London.

Jim Dale, senior meteorologist for British Weather Services, spoke about the changes the country is likely to see. He told “The main observation is a lack of warnings, a respite. Some rain and winds to come but nothing over the top as yet this side of December 25.

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“Snow for parts of Scotland (esp. Highlands/Grampians) from Saturday, December 23 onwards – some further south as it turns colder and icy for many on December 24 and 25. Volatile thereafter.”

The long-range forecast from December 22, right across the Christmas period, echos much of what Mr Dale has specified.

It says: “Unsettled with milder, mobile spells of wind and rain, and briefer colder interludes most likely. Initially, for the north, showers, heavy in places and wintry to low levels, with drier and brighter conditions further south.

“Lingering strong winds should ease early in the period. Milder conditions, likely returning for a time over the weekend.

The Christmas forecast in full

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“By the Christmas period, a chance of a colder, showery interlude with northerly winds potentially bringing some snowfall, mainly across hills in the north. However, this colder interlude could be short-lived, and may not reach the far south before a milder Atlantic, westerly flow, becomes re-established.

“This pattern most probable towards New Year’s Eve, with the majority of cloud and rain likely across the west, and drier and brighter conditions more probable in the east.”

Looking further ahead to New Years Day, it adds: “Most likely continuing unsettled with bands of rain crossing the UK with brighter conditions and showers in between.

“The wettest and windiest conditions are most likely in the north and west. Short-lived colder spells remain possible, with hazards such as snow and ice, particularly in the north.”

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But the volatile cold, as Mr Dale described, is not in the picture until at least the middle of January.

It continues: “The chance of these colder spells slightly increases moving through January, with a low likelihood of a more prolonged spell of cold weather developing around mid-month.”

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